DeBacker v. Brainard,
396 U.S. 28 (1969)

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U.S. Supreme Court

DeBacker v. Brainard, 396 U.S. 28 (1969)

DeBacker v. Brainard

No. 15

Argued October 13-14, 1969

Decided November 12, 1969

396 U.S. 28


1. Appellant juvenile's challenge in habeas corpus proceeding on ground that he was unconstitutionally deprived of his right to trial by jury is inappropriate for resolution by this Court, since the hearing before a Nebraska juvenile court judge at which appellant was adjudged a delinquent was conducted before this Court's decisions in Duncan v. Louisiana, 391 U. S. 145, and Bloom v. Illinois, 391 U. S. 194, which were held in DeStefano v. Wood, 392 U. S. 631, to apply only prospectively, and appellant would therefore have had no constitutional right to a jury trial had he been tried as an adult in a criminal proceeding.

2. It is not appropriate for this Court to decide whether Nebraska law providing for proof of delinquency in a juvenile proceeding under a preponderance of the evidence standard violates due process requirements where no objection to that standard was made at the hearing by appellant, who took no direct appeal, and his counsel acknowledged that the evidence was sufficient to support the delinquency finding even under a reasonable doubt standard.

3. Because, standing alone, the issue could not be subject to review by an appeal, this Court declines, in view of the barrenness of the record, to exercise its certiorari jurisdiction to pass on appellant's contention that the prosecutor's assertedly unreviewable discretion under Nebraska case law whether to proceed against appellant in juvenile court, rather than in ordinary criminal proceedings, violated due process.

183 Neb. 461, 161 N.W.2d 508, appeal dismissed; certiorari dismissed as improvidently granted.

Page 396 U. S. 29

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